February 18, 2020

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Spawn Eastern Cantaloupe Growers Group

After back-to-back seasons of food poisoning outbreaks linked to tainted cantaloupes, growers in the eastern part of the country have formed a new association designed to improve food safety of melons and boost consumer confidence. Cantaloupe is grown differently in the east than it is in west, where the melons are grown in desert conditions. California cantaloupe growers, who pride themselves on never having been associated with an outbreak, have had their own association dedicated to best growing practices for a umber of years.

Whole and Sliced CantaloupeMembers of the newly formed Eastern Cantaloupe Growers Association must adhere to the growing and handling standards outlined in the document Commodity-Specific Guidelines for Cantaloupes and Netted Melons. They must also agree to submit to unannounced audits of their farms at least one time each growing season. They will be assigned registration numbers that can be used on their labels for identification and traceback purposes and be allowed to use the ECGA logo and “certified” stamps on their melons to show consumers they have used good food safety practices.

Last year, a Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe produced by Chamberlain Farms of Owensville Indiana sickened 261 people in 24 states.  At least 94 people were so sick they required hospitalization. Three people in Kentucky died. In 2011, a cantaloupe Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe grown on Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo. sickened 146 people and killed more than 30 of them.  In both cases, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found unsanitary conditions and numerous food safety violations on the farms.


  1. I am glad to hear of this new association. I find that those who self regulate do better in general than those who don’t.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.